Until You by Jeannie Moon #Review

Until You by Jeannie Moon #ReviewUntil You by Jeannie Moon

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Tule Publishing on March 17, 2015
Pages: 337
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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This was the To Be or Not to Be…Read TBR Pile vote win. At first I thought you gals steered me wrong for the first time, but it turned out you did me right again. J

I read the blurb and just had to read this one. A pro hockey player approaches a woman at a bar on the beach on a bet from his teammates and discovers a whole lot more than he bargained for while she has recently divorced her cheating husband and is dealing with the fall-out while looking at her fortieth birthday as a curse though the younger attractive hockey player who wants to be with her for the night sure does compensate for turning the dreaded 4-0.

Having read this author once before, I remembered how deep and emotional her writing was and that was not lacking in this story, either. The romance is only one of the elements and this read more like women’s fiction at times. David and others share the narration, but this really is Kate’s story. It was hard to read the first half of this book because she’s not in good shape and neither is her life, but then she finds strength and grows. David is a part of that, but it’s really all on her to complete the process of healing and finding happiness. It was a beautiful story in the end and left me sitting there processing Kate’s journey and the lovely life she made in the end.

As I noted, this story starts with best-selling author and teacher, recent divorcee to a controlling cheater, and mother to a hating, angry teenager, Kate Adams sitting at a bar and staring out at the ocean taking stock of her life. She assumes she will now be on the shelf and living a lonely, cold life. Then the unexpected happens when a big, rugged, athletic younger man comes to her table and talks her into a night of fun to celebrate her birthday. She is guarded, but she does have fun. David takes her out to eat and then to the boardwalk carousel and back to the hotel. They talk, they laugh, and they make love. She assumes it’s over, but is wistful when they go their separate ways knowing that he plays hockey for Philly and she lives near Philadelphia.

David Burke took a bet that he could seduce the woman sitting alone at the bar, but it doesn’t take him long at all to forget about the bet and just enjoy the special lady he has found. Kate is like no woman he has been with and she’s a far cry from those who hang around hoping to hook up with a hockey player. He barely knows what to do with the sophisticated woman who talks of interesting things, who has obviously been hurt by her douche of an ex and turns out to be more famous than him as a NY Times bestselling author of books that he’s read and loved. For the first time, he wants more. Then he screws things up not taking her age well and not making a clean break from his womanizing past. Kate makes it clear that he screwed up bad and wants nothing to do with him, but David is a fighter and loves a challenge and in his heart he knows Kate is worth it.

Kate knew that being older than David would be a problem and knew that a guy who could have any woman and did was a bad bet and he didn’t prove her wrong. But now, David is the least of her worries when her ex-husband and his fiancée are going for full custody and her daughter takes every opportunity to jab in her own knife and make it clear that she believes every lie her father told her. Kate has never stood up for herself and has no feeling of self-worth, but she used to and away from her repressive ex she slowly starts to find herself again. It doesn’t hurt that a handsome hockey player is working hard to convince her that she’s something special- particularly to him.

Alright, I got a whole lot more than I bargained for in this one. There was the age difference romance and the situation with the ex. There is so much going on in this one. Not in a frenzied fast paced way, but in a slow build long coming crisis sort of thing. There are multiple narrators and even a few side storylines. Kate and David are the main narrators, but Kate’s daughter and even her ex get significant page time. I enjoyed getting the various perspectives. The story felt more rounded and authentic this way. I also needed a break that the flipping of the scenes gave to me.

I enjoyed that the progress of this story was over months of time because that was the only way this was going to feel right. So many things needed teasing out and so many people including the main characters needed time to grow.

I judged Kate pretty hard when I started reading, but then discovering the abuse she took for 20 years from her ex made me see things in a much different light. It still wasn’t easy to see her so beaten down and fearful, but it totally made sense. His abuse was the controlling, degrading emotional sort sprinkled with a little of the physical so that by the time she is forty, she is far from seeing herself, situations, and others clearly. Things got pretty bleak and bad before getting better. Fortunately, I wasn’t worried about getting so much depth and emotion and expected it somewhat. I even tolerated more angst than is my norm because I was so vested in seeing Kate really make a comeback.

David had his own issues and crisis. He wanted Kate, but he totally screwed things up a few times because he had to figure out how to shift from being a player and a guy who didn’t do relationships to being a real man that hung in there and put in the time with a relationship. Even though he is already famous and the captain of his team, he felt inferior and uncertain which was also why he messed up. But the thing is, this guy knew what an apology was and he knew the quality of Kate. He was uncertain at first, but once he went all in, he was her hero even before she realized it.

Now, Kate’s daughter, Laura, was an angry, confused, hormonal teenager who chose manipulation and guilt as her weapons to make her mother emotionally bleed. Kate had previously never defended herself so all Laura got was a steady dose of her father’s lying venom. I wanted to smack her so hard, but then this was her story, too, and she did grow and go through some tough truth moments.

And that leads me to the Ex, grrrrrr. This needed to be a murder mystery so someone could kill him off preferably in a really horrific manner. Oh, he was a true villain. When David made him almost wet his pants, I was jumping up and down pumping my fist like he’d scored a hat trick all by himself. But that was nothing to the cheering I did when Kate stood her ground with him.

Incidentally, it was quite obvious that the author put the time into the background of the characters and the backdrop. Hockey is David’s world, writing and teaching are Kate’s just as music is Laura’s. And I loved learning Kate’s surprise background just as David did and to see how he treasured this and made it come alive again for Kate. I think having these things and others help make the emotional side and the romance feel so much more authentic.

Anyway, this was a fantastic read and actually makes a nice holiday read since a large portion at the end was over the winter holiday season. I can easily recommend this one to those who want a passionate, deeply-emotional contemporary romance with a sport hero and a literary heroine in an age-difference romance.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #361 CR

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Great review, Sophia, as usual 🙂

  • I love those great emotional reads too!!! They are just fabulous, I haven’t tried out this author but you have piqued my interest in this one.

    • Yes, this is an author I plan to continue going to for those types of reads. I read another by her and noticed they are both that way. So I grabbed her Christmas newbie at NG so I can sob over a holiday read. LOL

  • I’m glad you liked this. Emotional reads are great, right? Although I usually have to be in just the right mood for them.

    • Yes, the mood part is important for me, too, Quinn. I can read these when I want a picker upper. 🙂

  • interesting, the multiples narratives hopefully worked, cause they tend to make my head spinned. but wow a lot going on!

    • Sometimes multiple POVs do that to me too, Lily, but in this one it gave my emotions a break once in a while. Most of the switches are just between the heroine and the hero with the others being just once in a while so it wasn’t bad.

  • I can’t remember what I voted for

    • LOL! It was a month ago. Lots of books under the bridge to muddy your memory.

  • Hmmm. I’m not a *huge* fan of age difference romances! So I’d probably pass on this one. I see that you loved it, which is awesome! So glad it was more than you expected. 🙂

    Great review, Sophia!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Thanks, Alyssa! Yeah, the age difference thing isn’t for everyone. I don’t read many and certainly don’t like some, but this author was one I wanted to try again and brawny hockey player…sigh, I’m such a sucker for sports romances.

  • Well, well, well … I think I need to read this. I love when there’s a lot going on, but not in a busy way. I’m glad this was the winner, because now I know to read it. 😀

    • LOL! I just added two books this morning after blog visits. I’m not sure how I found good books to read before blog reviewing came into being. 🙂 But seriously, hope you like it when you get the chance to read it, Christy!

  • I like the sound of this premise how he approaches her for a bet and then they fall in love, Although I do hope he was upfront about the whole bet thigns. I’ve read a book once where the bet was the reason they met and then only later that truth came to light and then there was lots of drama about it, which I didn’t like.

    That must be great to see kate change and grow over the course of the book and find her happiness. I like the sound of the multiple plot lines going on, but it does feel rushed or too full. Her ex sound shorrible, it can be hard to read about characters like that and sometimes I have trouble believeing that there are people who are so evil really exists. And that must be hard to see how her daughter believes her ex his lies, but it’s good she grows and changes too. And I love it when an author put time to develop the characters background and hobbies, makes them feel more real. Great review!

    • Yes, there was definitely a lot going on. It didn’t happen in fast scene changes and leaps so I was able to follow things alright. And all the background, hobbies, and life happenings made the story feel real. I liked it so much that I got another of her books with a Christmas theme. 😉 It’s not connected to this one, but I wanted to experience her writing again.

  • Dying over the need for it to be a murder mystery comment. Oh I have SO been there. I had to have that convo about the bratty teen with myself just about 20 minutes ago in a current read. lol Amazing the emotions books can bring out of us. Whew! This one sounds pretty dang awesome, Sophia! Glad the pick turned out so good!

    • Yes, this one got under my skin. I loved it, but I also was worried that I wouldn’t when I was reading the first half with all that was going on. That Ex and then her daughter made me feel homicidal. I just don’t get the need for such meanness.

  • Good lord, I cannot stand exe’s who are jackasses, I’m glad she got over that fool and moved on. Now the daughter, idk…I would have sent her with her father, lols.

    Sounds like a story to dive into Sophia…I”m not big on the age difference but this sounds like a it worked out well.

    • Yeah, the age difference thing can be iffy. I’ve liked a couple and really got irritated at a few, too.
      Oh my glands, yes, the ex was a jackass. He was a bully and not the obvious sort so his daughter and the new skank in his life didn’t realize and they supported him against Kate. Thank you lord for David who put that weasel in his place.

      • lmbo @ skank, lols!!! Woot for the new bf

        • Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of the home-wrecker woman. Bleh!